The scalp; it’s a largely ignored part of the body. Why should this be? One factor may be that it is usually hidden by the hair. Out of sight, out of mind, correct? Another factor may be that we are not quite sure how to characterize the scalp. When it comes to categories of beauty care, does the scalp come under skincare or hair care? It is skin, after all, but we aren’t all that concerned about treating it the way we treat skin on the face, on the other hand it effects our hair, and we do care about how our hair looks. While experts would probably agree that the scalp is skin rather than hair, they would probably also have to recognize the fact that the scalp does play a large part in the way our hair behaves, and it is thus important to keep it healthy. So, with that in mind, here is a look at some scalp treatments, to keep your hair (and scalp) healthy.
If you’re battling with an oily scalp, you may not need to look further than your shower. Medicated shampoos containing selenium sulfide, zinc pyrithione, coal tar, or salicylic acid and can be some of the most readily available treatments for an oily scalp.
Coal tar and selenium sulfide containing products which slow down the death and regeneration of the skin cells on the scalp and reduce inflammation and itching. If a fungus is the cause of the oiliness, products with zinc pyrithione and selenium sulfide are recommended. Products with salicylic acid, on the other hand, reduce the amount of oil on the scalp.
No matter which treatment you use, make sure to work the cream or shampoo thoroughly into your scalp, building up a good lather and let it sit three to five minutes before rinsing. Because some agents in the shampoo may dry out hair, you may want to follow with a conditioning treatment to restore moisture to the ends.
Dry scalps can often lead to hair that looks dull and lifeless, and an itchy, flaking scalp. Again, medicated shampoo may be your answer. Look for products containing salicylic lactic acid, coal tar, or urea. Coal tar reduces skin rejuvenation which lead to less dryness and fewer flakes. Salicylic acid work in a similar way, and can be used in conjunction with coal tar for tough problems. Salicylic acid shampoos softens dry patches of skin, so that they can be shampooed away, however, salicylic acid can be overly drying, so be sure to use a moisturizer with it. Products with urea and lactic acids also reduce scaly patches and flakes. Be sure to work all products into the scalp and let them sit for three to five minutes before rinsing.
Chronic Scalp Psoriasis
If you’ve done it all and nothing’s worked, you may want to visit your dermatologist, He or she can prescribe strong topical creams and shampoos that can make hair less oily, or help to stop the irritation of a dry scalp. Many of these may contain the same ingredients as over the counter formulas, but in a higher concentration.
Vitamin D3 analogs are another option for persistent scalp problems. These are prescription strength topical treatments for patchy, dry skin, They may take longer to work than treatments with steroids, but some versions can be safely used for up to a year. Other prescribed treatments, include tazarotene, a derivative of Vitamin A or anthralin. Phototherapy, or light therapy, is another option for scalp psoriasis. This treatment involves the application of ultraviolet rays to the scalp to clear up psoriasis. Repeat treatment is usually required.
If you’re treating your hair with chemicals, you may want to consider these treatments as a means of keeping your scalp healthy. Let us know how it goes for you.